Flowers 3 (rough drafts)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

flowers 3

This morning, my nephew Mason, age 8, stopped by the studio as I was preparing to paint. He looked at my easel, at the draft of the painting in Flowers 2, and scrunched up his face.

“Um, you’re going to work on that some more, right Aunt Sara?” he said with that unfiltered critical quality children who are still allowed to be honest sometimes have when they speak to adults about their experience.

“Yes,” I said, “that’s what I’m doing this weekend.”

“Oh, I see. So it’s like a rough draft?”

“Yep, exactly.”

“Oh, yeah, I know what that is,” he said. “It’s like you start off just being messy, and, and then, well then you can mess up.  Like in writing, in art…And then, once you’re done with the rough draft, you can do it nicely, since you have the hang of it. The rough draft is for getting the hang of painting the picture.”

His voice had changed; there was acceptance in it, softness, a knowing. I was floored, but I tried to play it cool. “I like how you describe that,” I said in my best I’m-not-that-interested voice. “Can you tell me one more time?”

He did, and I jotted it down verbatim.

Mason was playing with my pallet knives, trying to scrape off their dried paint. “How did you learn about rough drafts? Who taught you about them?””

“At school,” he said. “My favorite teacher taught me about rough drafts.”

It took everything I had not to envelop him in one of those “Auntique Sara” hugs he hates and loves.

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